When teething discomfort starts to affect your baby’s sleep, the knock-on effects reach into the next day and beyond. Soothing a teething baby at night can make any parent feel helpless.
Try some of these methods to offer relief when your baby needs it most. Teething can affect your child’s appetite, and this can cause them to wake more at night too.
During the day offer your baby plenty of soft foods that are easy on sore gums. They may increase their milk intake whilst teething to make up for the unease of eating solid foods and also for closeness and comfort.
If your baby wakes more in the night with teething-related distress, try where possible, to keep as much to your usual routine as possible by keeping the light low if they wake at nighttime and while you’re soothing them back to sleep.
Anything cold will offer great relief to inflamed gums. During the day cold fruit or vegetables can work well, at night it may be more convenient to pop a solid teether toy in the fridge or freezer (but don’t let it freeze solid) for a cool reprieve.
If you don’t have a solid teether toy handy, a clean, cold flannel for your baby to bite down on works well too but always supervise and assist your baby with this.
A great option for doing this is using the Baby Gumz Teething Mitten as it allows you to insert fruit into a dummy-shaped teet they can chew on for relief.
Offering similar relief to biting on a teething toy, giving your babies gums a gentle massage will ease aches and pains.
Using a clean finger (try running your finger under cold water for extra relief) gently massage sore gums by running your finger around the gum line of both upper and lower jaw and inside their cheeks.
The slight press against the gum relieves the pressure from the new tooth pushing through.
Teething gels are fast-acting and contain a mild local anesthetic to relieve teething pain and quickly (most are suitable for babies 6 months plus but check the label).
Some also contain an antiseptic to help prevent infection too. Teething gels are best used after your baby has finished feeding and just before they go to sleep, you can even combine the application of the teething gel with a gentle massage for extra relief.
Teething gels are easy to find in most pharmacies and supermarkets.
Baby paracetamol and ibuprofen
If you’ve tried other methods and your baby is still in pain or has developed a fever you can give them age-appropriate pain relief, such as baby paracetamol or baby ibuprofen (but not both).
Baby paracetamol such as Calpol is suitable for 2 months+, always follow the instructions and speak to your GP if you are concerned or unsure.
Herbal or alternative remedies
Alternative methods to relieve teething pain, such as amber teething necklaces, chamomile granules, vanilla extract, and various other natural remedies are not recommended by the NHS and have reported mixed results from parents.
If you are still unsure or if your baby is struggling with teething talk to your health visitor or make an appointment with your GP.
When extra cuddles, soothing feeds or warm distracting bath times don’t soothe your teething baby, having other options to come to your aid in the night will be a great relief.
Trying all non-medical options first is a good idea, not all babies will need baby paracetamol, but it helps to know it’s there if you need it.
Maintaining a nighttime routine as much as possible will help your child to settle back to sleep when teething pains have eased.